Musings of a curriculum nerd
by Kate Clauson, Head of Curriculum & Partnerships, Future Anything
As a confirmed curriculum nerd, there is nothing I like better than unit planning.
Deep diving into a new topic, finding creative ways to meet curriculum objectives, designing exciting learning activities for my students – nothing gets me into a state of ‘flow’ like nerding out on a new unit.
So, it goes without saying that stepping into my new role as Head of Curriculum and Partnerships at Future Anything and seeing items like “deep dive into Australian Curriculum” at the top of my to-do list feels like a dream come true.
In developing content for Activate 2023, our Term- or Semester-long immersive program that builds enterprising mindsets in both Primary and Secondary schools, I get to play in curriculum that will reach thousands of young people. It will also have direct benefits for, and build the capacity of, our amazing Activate educators in classrooms around Australia.
Aligning to Australian Curriculum Version 9
At Future Anything, we believe that those teachers shouldn’t have to choose between pedagogy and compliance. That’s why a key priority for Activate 2023 is unpacking, and aligning to, the proposed Australian Curriculum Version 9.
We want to support Activate schools and teaching teams to feel confident that they can deliver curriculum that meets the requirements of their context, while also providing opportunities for their young people to engage in innovative and exciting learning experiences that connect them to the world beyond the classroom.
Thus, one of the most important elements in the Activate curriculum is that streams can be aligned to a variety of subject areas.
Our flagship Social Enterprise stream is delivered in diverse courses from Religion & Ethics to STEM, from Design Technology to History. Of course, many of our Activate schools find a natural fit here with Business & Economics, so this has been one of my early areas of focus when designing our new curriculum.
We’re also excited to introduce three new multidisciplinary streams, People X, Planet X, and Technology X. Designed for delivery in Science, STEM, Health & Physical Education, English Humanities & Social Sciences, or Design & Digital Technology, these are perfect for educators looking to run a cross-curricular and Australian curriculum aligned approach to Project-Based learning that empowers students to be the change they want to see in their world.
Embedding Entrepreneurial Pedagogy in Every Classroom
The reason why we’re so passionate about these multidisciplinary approaches to entrepreneurial pedagogy is that it takes the focus away from the business and STEM classrooms and demonstrates how this rigorous, engaging and important learning can happen in any classroom. Take history as an example.
Recently, we worked with Matthew Esterman at Our Lady of Mercy College Parramatta to build a Create-Your-Own Activate program within their History curriculum.
And, rather than write the curriculum for the students, we brought the young people into the room and co-designed the learning with them.
The final mission? As an entrepreneur, pitch an innovative idea that stops history from repeating itself.
Check out our recent Activate curriculum co-design experience with the student and teacher at OLMC Parramatta
Championing First Nations Perspectives
I am also excited to see First Nations perspectives being championed in the Australia Curriculum Volume 9, with particular emphasis on Indigenous entrepreneurs and innovation, such as the Year 8 content descriptor AC9HE8K03 ‘how First Nations Australian businesses and entrepreneurs develop opportunities in the market’ and as a suggested elaboration attached to the Year 9 descriptor AC9HE9K04 ‘processes that businesses use to create and maintain competitive advantage, including the role of entrepreneurs’.
To help educators meet these curriculum objectives, we’re gathering exciting case studies of First Nations entrepreneurs and businesses to highlight, as well as sharing tools like Supply Nation’s business directory so schools can connect with First Nations businesses relevant to their local context.
One of the fantastic examples we discovered this week is Bush Medijina, who use their traditional indigenous native botanical knowledge to create modern skincare products. Based in Angurugu on a remote island in the Northern Territory, they provide an inspiring example of overcoming the challenges of remote locations to make an important social contribution to their community, all while providing unique, world class products (that should definitely be added to your holiday wish list!)
Respecting and learning from Australia’s first innovators has always been central to Future Anything’s mission, and we are looking forward to sharing more First Nations case studies and examples to inspire the next generation.
Sharing our updated curriculum
The Future Anything team are so looking forward to sharing our updated Activate curriculum with new and returning Future Anything schools in the coming weeks, as they set the groundwork for another exciting year.
And as for me, it will come as no surprise that I can’t wait to continue my deep dive into the Australian Curriculum, as well as unpacking the latest Project-Based learning pedagogy and implementing some exciting new developments in Learner Profiles. More on that soon!
If you’d like to chat about implementing our new Activate curriculum in your classroom in 2023, drop me a line.
And, if you’re a fellow curriculum nerd, I’d love to hear what’s inspiring and challenging you right now. You can touch base with me here.
Future Anything’s Activate program offers in-curriculum options for students from Years 5 to Year 12. All content has been developed by our experienced educators and aligns directly to the Australian Curriculum, General Capabilities and Cross Curricular Priorities. Choose one stream, or build a whole school approach to Project Based Learning and/or entrepreneurship by embedding multiple streams.
Find out more about our programs here.
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About the author: Kate Clauson
Kate Clauson is a talented learning designer with over 10 years’ experience in independent and state schools in Queensland. Kate is passionate about innovative curriculum, with experience developing and delivering Project-Based Learning and design thinking pedagogies across curriculum and pastoral projects. She also has deep understanding of both the Australian Curriculum and Senior Humanities and Social Sciences subject areas, developed through her roles as a senior teacher, QCAA curriculum writer and middle leader in Business and Humanities.
At Future Anything, Kate uses her experience in creative learning design to build teacher knowledge and confidence, working alongside schools and educators to design innovative learning experiences for their young people that connect the classroom to the world beyond the school gate.
Connect with Kate on LinkedIn here.